Reviews & features: Miles Johnson

23 reviews

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Fawn

21 Aug 20082 stars

A muddled monologue

While perhaps the simplest form of theatre to stage, the monologue is not the easiest to pull off successfully. Fawn, a fantastical narrative about a girl transported from a forest into a netherworld of alternative realities, never quite rises to the…

The Musical of Musicals, The Musical!

18 Aug 20083 stars

Solidly performed Sondheim send-up a safe bet

Essentially a send-up of musicals by Sondheim and Rodgers & Hammerstein among others, The Musical of Musicals is unlikely to be appreciated (or its references understood) by non-aficionados. This said, it is solidly performed and often amusing, the…

Yasser

14 Aug 20084 stars

An original take on the Middle East conflict

The concept of national identity becomes ever more fragile in the absence of a nation state. A people bereft of the glue that binds modern communities together – whether real or imagined – risk having their identity defined by others, moulded by…

The Caravan

14 Aug 20084 stars

Impressive site specific verbatim piece

One of modern Britain’s cruel realities is that, while a US presidential hopeful dominates front page news, the continued homelessness of thousands of UK citizens after the 2007 floods, has gone largely ignored. When this situation is mentioned, it is…

The Murder Monologues

14 Aug 20082 stars

There are few things more grating in the theatre than a bad American accent. This set of monologues sports not one but two, with both actors mangling the impact of their respective lines, veering from what initially sounds like a Russian twang to…

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Another Paradise

7 Aug 20082 stars

Preaching to the converted

There is an annoying tendency among political theatre-makers to be so convinced of their arguments that they neglect to present them in an interesting way. Such unreflective laziness cripples this debut production of Sayan Kent's Another Paradise which…

Bouncy Castle Dracula

7 Aug 20081 star

The Bouncy Castle Project returns to the Fringe to subject Dracula to typically blunt treatment. After a nanosecond of excitement at the concept, you are left with a production so dire it would be near criminal for someone to fork out £9 to see it.

Not Everything is Significant

7 Aug 20083 stars

This latest work from respected Fringe writer and performer Ben Moor would perhaps have been more effective as a short story. The serious discrepancy between the quality of the writing and the poor central performance sadly reduces the impact of a…

Dad's Money

7 Aug 20083 stars

A father's death reunites two estranged brothers, before his inheritance drives them apart. Writer/director Richard Fry, the man behind last year's Greedy Scratchers, has a keen eye for moments of comic pathos as the brothers reflect on their many…

InvAsian Festival

31 Jul 2008

Culture shock

When, earlier this year, a BBC executive lamented the continued dominance of a ‘liberal, white, middle class elite’ across British television, his words could equally have been applied to Edinburgh in August. For all the Fringe’s variety, the number of…

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The Bird & The Bee

31 Jul 2008

Powerful double bill tells tales of star-crossed lovers

The young, it is sometimes said, are society’s canaries in the mine, the first to sense when something has gone awry. Few could have failed to be moved by the strange and tragic events at Bridgend in Wales, where, in the months to June this year, 22…

The Burma Play - A Comedy of Terror

31 Jul 2008

Burma’s political nightmare, from colonial times to the present day

The Fringe may be brimming with comedians cracking gags at the expense of politicians, but it would be fair to presume that few, if any, have tried out their material under the watch of a police state. The Burma Play, however, was inspired by…

Bow Selecta - Dizzee Rascal Interview

22 Jul 2008

He’s worked with Arctic Monkeys and Calvin Harris while giving British rap a good name. With his own record label on the rise, urban music star Dizzee Rascal tells Miles Johnson about a life of grime.

Closing Time

23 Aug 20073 stars

The present conflict in Iraq may dominate both news and Fringe agendas but, lest we forget, away from the cameras and newspaper columns, hundreds of conflicts continue to rage on all four corners of the globe. Alongside death, it is human dispersion…

Babble

23 Aug 20072 stars

A monologue based on the Jorge Luis Borges short story ‘The Library of Babel’, Babble focuses on a secluded librarian’s (Jonathan Clarkson) quest for the answers to all life’s puzzles in his stacks of books. Though the fundamental ideas behind the play…

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Hamlet Solo

16 Aug 20075 stars

To do justice to Hamlet is no easy task, but to render the Danish play as a one man performance is almost laughable in its ambition. There is, of course, the obvious novelty value to witnessing Hamlet being performed by one man. But Hamlet Solo is far…

Emergence-See!

16 Aug 20074 stars

Set on an otherwise unremarkable day in 2006, slam poet Daniel Beaty’s one-man show Emergence-See! begins with New York City’s descent into chaos as a slave ship floats up from the Hudson Bay. Bobbing just below the Statue of Liberty and stacked with…

Take a Bite

16 Aug 20073 stars

Miles Johnson

Sometimes it takes for people to be physically locked up together for them to touch freedom. Starting out from this premise Take a Bite opens with protagonist Vera (Anna Rylance Murdoch) waking to find herself trapped in a windowless room with a teenage…

The Last South: Pursuit of the Pole

9 Aug 20074 stars

Between 1910 and 1912 two competing teams, one British one Norwegian, set out to become the first men to reach the South Pole. Only one managed to return home to tell the tale. Constructed from the diaries kept by the British explorer Captain Robert…

Lady of Burma

9 Aug 20072 stars

Aung San Suu Kyi, the pro-democracy activist and lady of Burma to which the title refers, is the only Nobel Peace Prize winner to be currently in jail. The country’s ruling military junta is one of the most abhorrent regimes in the world, with its…

The Container

9 Aug 20074 stars

Set in a life size cargo crate, The Container allows the audience to sit in on the fraught interaction between five refugees attempting to make their way illegally to Britain. Certain critics have lampooned some of the site specific shows on offer at…

Hippo World Guest Book

9 Aug 20074 stars

The internet has indeed made the world a smaller place but arguably that little bit more bilious too. As anyone who has spent even a moment on a forum or blog will be aware, faceless interaction can often serve as a Petri dish for the most vile human…

Johnson and Boswell – Late But Live

1 Aug 2007

In 1773 Samuel Johnson, the portly curmudgeon of English letters, accompanied James Boswell on a tour of the Scottish Highlands.